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Business News/ Auto News / Electric off-highway machinery needed for greener mines, factories
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Electric off-highway machinery needed for greener mines, factories

Dana India, a supplier of components such as synchronizers, axles and torque hubs for off-highway heavy machinery like forklifts, trucks, tractors, cement haulers and mixers, expects that the segment will see as much as 10% electrification in the next five years.

Dana India says it accounts for about 60% of India's electric bus and truck market in terms of the major components it supplies to commercial vehicle OEMs. (HT)Premium
Dana India says it accounts for about 60% of India's electric bus and truck market in terms of the major components it supplies to commercial vehicle OEMs. (HT)

New Delhi: Off-highway heavy machinery like forklifts in factories and trucks in mines, tractors on farms or cement haulers and mixers on construction sites are almost entirely powered by diesel engines, emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases and toxic smoke.

However, that could change, as electrification of these machinery gathers pace.

Dana India, a subsidiary of America's Dana Incorporated, and one of the country's largest suppliers of components such as synchronizers, axles, and torque hubs for off-highway machinery, expects that the segment will see as much as 10% electrification in the next five years. 

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Gajanan Gandhe, country head and vice president, Dana India, said that unlike passenger vehicles and buses, the segment will not need a regulatory push to move towards electrification, favouring clear economic and climate benefits.

Electrification Surge

“One of the areas electrification is really catching up is in the off-highway segment, like golf carts and stationary machinery which requires diesel. We see these are being replaced with electric machinery in terms of boom lifts, scissor lifts etc," Gandhe told Mint in an interview. Close to 40% of Dana India's production in India is exported for global trucks and off-highway equipment markets. Nearly 10% of these exports cater to the electrification of these segments, he said.

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“We are expecting our EV business to be at least 20% of our total business in India in the next 3 to 5 years," Gandhe said, adding that the growth will be driven by fulfilment of its OEM clients' electric bus orders, as well as rapid electrification of the off-highway market. Further, growth in electrification of the three-wheeler and high-performance motorcycle segment is also expected to help Dana grow its EV business.

The company's electric vehicles business currently accounts for 5% of its overall turnover.

Dana India says it accounts for about 60% of India's electric bus and truck market in terms of the major components it supplies to commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

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In the off-highway segment, the level of electrification currently varies with different applications. However, many OEMs are making significant investments to electrify their vehicles quickly, Gandhe explained. According to him, industries like construction and mining often operate within relatively short distances of a few meters, and can easily access charging points within their work locations.

Growth Prospects

“For example, electrifying mining vehicles would eliminate the emissions that accumulate within confined spaces, improving the working environment. Similarly, construction vehicles such as cement haulers and various types of lifts only need to travel short distances daily, making them ideal candidates for electrification. Additionally, in-plant equipment like forklifts are also expected to transition to electric power, given the benefits of lower operational costs and emissions", Gandhe explained.

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"Electrification in the off-highway segment is pretty small right now, as everybody's developing products, some of which have started coming into the market already. You will see a significant acceleration to this electrification - I would say right now it may not be even in the 1-2% range, but you would see that the growth will be substantial – it can easily go to 10% in the next five years, and even more if the government extends subsidy support", he said.

“The customers and actual utilization patterns of the vehicles will drive this," he added. “For example, mining. You may have regulation, but more than regulation, it's the mining companies which have to decide how much they care for their people," he said.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alisha Sachdev
Alisha Sachdev reports on the auto and mobility sector, with a special focus on emerging clean mobility technologies.
Catch all the Auto News and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
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Published: 09 Jun 2024, 03:12 PM IST
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